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Is time spent filling out timesheets considered "labor" or PAID TIME? (non-exempt)

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  • Is time spent filling out timesheets considered "labor" or PAID TIME? (non-exempt)

    Hello forum. Do you know whether in most states you must pay employees for the time it takes to fill out their time-sheets? Or in other words, is filling out time-sheets generally considered an act of "labor" which must be compensated?

  • #2
    You're asking two questions that are not one or the other. "Labor" and "compensatory hours" are basically the same thing.

    I would consider filling out a time sheet part of the employee's job, therefore, it's time worked and must be paid for. Having said that, how long does it take per day to complete the time for the day, a minute or two?
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    • #3
      How long does it take them just to fill out their time sheets?
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        Sorry, Patty, your post wasn't there when I started mine.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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        • #5
          Believe it or not, we've actually had people take an excessive amount of time (like 30 minutes) to complete a timesheet, just to get a little bit of overtime.

          Yes, they got paid, but they also got disciplinary action for not completing it during their regular shift, and in a timely manner.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TSCompliance View Post
            Believe it or not, we've actually had people take an excessive amount of time (like 30 minutes) to complete a timesheet, just to get a little bit of overtime.

            Yes, they got paid, but they also got disciplinary action for not completing it during their regular shift, and in a timely manner.
            Good for you. There's no excuse for that, even though you'd have a hard time defending NOT paying them, even for 30 minutes a week.

            When I was consulting and not at a client, I often had billable hours to several clients in a single day. No biggie, do it daily.
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            • #7
              Depends on the timesheet. And the employer. I have worked for places with many lines of cost information that had to maintained. The problem is there could be something like 5,000+ valid cost codes, with some people using 50-100 lines per timesheet. And not necessarily the same codes each timesheet. I have seen some timesheets that 30 minutes a timesheet (even more) would probably have been ball park. I personnally was basically "overhead" (accounting/finance department), but I had three different working groups reporting me, and had to track my time against maybe a dozen or tasks on an average time sheet. These codes were used for product costing, billing, capitalization of labor expenses and budget related issues. The employer was a software company listed on the NYSE, and compensation were say 80% of total expenditures. If you did not know what people were working on, there was no product costing.

              However if all we are talking about is a maximum of 16 days (SM timesheet) with one summary hours worked number per day, then yes, 30 minutes sounds extremely excessive. I have worked for other companies where 2 minutes per timesheet would have been excessive.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                Hello all, thanks for the responses.

                So yes, we are a small Solar contracting firm with about 15 laborers who are almost always out on roofs in the field; I am one of the owners. We recently shifted to "on-line" time sheets through Quick Books (Intuit) "Time Tracker". Computers are available at the office but many choose to fill in their sheets at home.

                While it's not that difficult, it does take a bit of time to fill out. Because they work 40 hours in the field we're stuck paying OT for them to fill out timesheets at home.

                Back when I was working in the field, I didn't get paid to fill out my timesheets.. hence my initial resistance. After claims of an hour or more to fill them in, I finally agreed to pay 30 min per week to fill them out, which I know is good plenty.

                Hence the question of how exactly to "classify" time spent filling in timesheets. Any further thoughts are appreciated.

                Thanks all.

                =====

                PS - What makes them take more time is that we ask them to categorize by 2 factors: (a) WORK CATEGORY: 'travel', 'training', 'installation', 'supply' etc. and (b) CLIENT/BILL-TO: 'Smith project', 'Johnson project', 'EmPower' (our company), etc. This enables reports which are pretty invaluable when reviewing operating/direct/project costs, etc.
                Last edited by gsachs; 10-09-2010, 01:40 PM.

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                • #9
                  The time spent doing timesheets is certainly work for purposes of paying people. The only reason the employees file out the timesheet is that they were told to do so, and the employer is the one who benefits.

                  And if you think that 30 minutes is how long it takes, not my place to argue on that. Which leaves overtime. You could always have people leave work 30 minutes early the last day of the pay period. Or stop normal work on that day 30 minutes early and have them complete timesheets on the worksite. Then you know exactly how long it takes. Either way, no overtime as long as the employee does not actually work more then 40 hours in the workplace. The sole problem is when the employer wants 40 hours of normal work, plus time spent completely timesheets on top of that.
                  "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                  Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                  • #10
                    Thanks all, this is valuable insight. In the age of on-line timesheets, I suppose this may become a more common issue. R/Gregory.

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